Most people we talk to refuse to wear ear protection. Bartenders, bouncers, motorcycle buffs, commuters, musicians, sports fans ... the list goes on. Protecting your hearing is easy. You just have to make it a habit.
Types of Earplugs
Foam plugs are great when they are used properly. Each plug gets rolled in the palm of your hand and inserted into a clean ear canal as deep as is comfortable. The most common complaint is that speech sounds muffled. Fireworks would be a great reason for using foam plugs. Or when using power tools, a lawnmower or leaf blower.
When communication is important, filtered earplugs can be a perfect solution. Filtered ear plugs work by reducing what’s loud to protect your ears and allows for speech and music to pass naturally. Think of an electrician, carpenter, and glazier working on a project together, or listening to live music with friends or taking a drink order in a noisy restaurant.
What's the Best Earplug for You?
With any earplug, comfort is key. Foam plugs come tapered and in all shapes and sizes. Wearing earplugs for hours at a time may cause discomfort. A small or unusual shaped ear canal can pose challenges as well. For these and other reasons, you may benefit from custom ear protection. You can order custom earplugs from your local audiologist. Filtered plugs, commonly called musician’s earplugs, can be made for you with different levels of filtering.
You only have one pair of ears. Its a good idea to protect them because damage from noise can’t be fixed.
Sheri Gostomelsky holds a Doctorate in Audiology and is the owner of Audiology Associates of Deerfield, a boutique practice that specializes in protecting and improving hearing, one patient at a time.